Excellent news for English-resident anime movie fans, especially if you’re in London late next month; on February 27th, Hana to Alice Satsujin Jiken (The Case of Hana & Alice) will be showing at the Regent Street Cinema near Oxford Circus as part of the Asia House Film Festival. The screening will start at 3:00pm, with a 14-minute Arabic animation titled With Time being shown before the main feature begins.

This film is the animated prequel to the live-action movie Hana & Alice, which proved the breakthrough performance for the leads Yuu Aoi, of the live-action Rurouni Kenshin films, and Anne Suzuki of Steamboy. Both returned to voice the characters Hana and Alice, and Hana & Alice’s creator Shunji Iwai not only directed, but produced, wrote the screenplay and composed the score. Now that’s dedication.

The story of the movie, following how the two high-school girls’ friendship sparked, is summarised on the Asia House website:

Newly arrived in small-town suburbia with her divorced mother, middle-school age transfer student Tetsuko Arisugawa (Arisu or ‘Alice’ for short) finds herself the victim of bullying by her classmates and seeks solace through dance. She soon learns of an urban myth about a mysteriously vanished former student called Yuda (Japanese for ‘Judas’) who was allegedly murdered by four of his classmates. Hana, a reclusive girl who lives in a house bedecked with flowers next door, seems to hold the key to the mystery, and together the pair soon embark on a wild and unpredictable series of suburban escapades.

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